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Achenblog: July 17, 2005 - July 23, 2005

Kurt Vonnegut and the Tool of Last Resort

   Frequent Kaboodler Kbertocci, one of the 15 people who regularly read this blog, yesterday posted this excerpt from Kurt Vonnegut's "Timequake":   "I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive...

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 21, 2005; 12:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (277)
 
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Generation of Toads

   Late yesterday, in the Kaboodle, commentator Peter mentioned the Roberts dissent in the toad case [in a quarter century of pounding the keyboard I have probably never started a sentence so incomprehensibly], and wrote:     "If it is...

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 21, 2005; 8:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (208)
 
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Roberts to Overturn Marbury v. Madison?

   Every American should give John G. Roberts the benefit of the doubt, and hope for a dignified confirmation process, even though it is almost certain that he will attempt to plunge the nation into medieval darkness. Bush's nomination of...

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 20, 2005; 7:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (318)
 
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Car Insurance Won't Cover Nuclear Damage

    This morning I am determined to go through my mail pile, even though it means dealing with offers I can't refuse, deals I can't turn down, letters from friends and relatives I can't ignore, and science magazines I...

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 19, 2005; 7:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (105)
 
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"Dirt" vs. "Sand" vs. "Clay" vs. "Grit"

   [Those of you grubbing around your garden or walking on the beach might be interested in this old Why Things Are item, circa 1995. Note the Leatherman quote: When I did Why, Leatherman was one of those people I...

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 19, 2005; 7:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Blogging Founding Fathers, etc.

   [This was getting lost in the shuffle so I'm republishing it, verbatim from below. You can read Von Drehle's live discussion about his story by clicking here.]     A great passage from Von Drehle's magazine article on political...

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 18, 2005; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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"Rain" vs. "Drizzle"

   [I was looking through Posthaste for the Why Things Are on perceptions of weather and couldn't find it, but found instead this item about raindrops. From Style, March 10, 1995.]     James and Marie Elise Underwood of Morganza,...

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 18, 2005; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Summering in Place

    [As long as we're talking about summer, here's an excerpt from the Archives: Style section, June 14, 2004]     Summer  is many things, but most of all it's a competition. The word"summer" can be used as a...

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 18, 2005; 1:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Totally Dysfunctional Blog Today

    The blog doesn't work. Comments don't work. Links don't work.    [Joel marches off to lunch in state of high dudgeon. Comes back from lunch, all is fixed by Hal. Joel now in state of very low dudgeon.]...

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 18, 2005; 12:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
 
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Blogging Founding Fathers and "Objective" Journalism

   A great passage from Von Drehle's magazine article on political bloggers:   The fact is, Americans have always loved to argue. For every adventurer and striver who settled the New World there was a disputant and a critic. The...

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 18, 2005; 7:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Bring Back Those Sunny Days

    [What follows is Sunday's Rough Draft column, in toto. To be read in a hammock, when we are no longer in the soup. I am tired of the soup. Years ago in Why Things Are, the Why staff...

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 18, 2005; 6:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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